蛇鰻科 (Family Ophichthidae) 是鰻形目魚類中物種豐富度最高的科別，廣泛分佈於熱帶及亞熱帶地區海域，棲息於珊瑚礁、砂礫或泥灘等底質，分佈範圍深度從潮間帶至1000米以深，經常為底拖網漁業所混獲。本研究透過採集臺灣東部海域及西南沿海之鰻魚漁獲，及檢視臺灣另外5處魚類典藏標本館的蛇鰻科魚類標本來進行其分類研究。
本研究共新記錄了2屬：憤怒蛇鰻屬 Skythrenchelys Castle and McCosker, 1999，細鋤蛇鰻屬Yirrkala Whitley, 1940；新記錄了5種：町田蛇鰻Ophichthus machidai McCosker, Ide and Endo, 2012，巨目蛇鰻O. megalops Asano, 1987，鈍鼻蛇鰻 O. obtusus McCosker, Ide and Endo, 2012，貪食憤怒蛇鰻Skythrenchelys zabra Castle and McCosker, 1999，米蘇爾細鋤蛇鰻 Yirrkala misolensis (G#westeur061#nther, 1872)。同時亦更正過去臺灣蛇鰻科魚類屬及種的記錄：臺灣並無喉鰓蛇鰻屬genus Caecula Vahl, 1794、無鰭蛇鰻屬genus Apterichtus Dum#westeur042#ril, 1806，駿河灣無鰭蛇鰻A. moseri (Jordan and Snyder, 1901) 以及新幾內亞新蛇鰻Neenchelys daedalus McCosker, 1982的記錄。另外尚有屬名更動之修訂：過去的黑喉鰓盲蛇鰻Caecula kuro (Kuroda, 1947)已變更為黑麗蛇鰻Callechelys kuro (Kuroda, 1947)。同種異名之釐清：過去的艾氏蛇鰻Ophichthus evermanni (Jordan and Richardson, 1909) 現已成為石紋蛇鰻Ophichthus lithinus (Jordan and Richardson, 1908) 的次異名；柴田氏蛇鰻O. tsuchidae Jordan and Snyder, 1901 現已被認為是裾鰭蛇鰻O. urolophus (Temminck and Schlegel, 1846) 的次異名。
The tropical and subtropical eel family Ophichthidae are the most diverse of the Anguilliformes fishes. They occupy a variety of marine habitats ranging from mid water to reefs, sand and mud substrates and can be found usually at depths from intermareal to deeper than 1000 m, so they are often captured by bottom trawling. The purpose of this thesis is to study the taxonomy of the family Ophichthidae by collecting eel captured from eastern and south-western sea of Taiwan and examining ophichthid specimens from other 5 collecting institutions.
In this study, we newly recorded two genera: genus Skythrenchelys Castle and McCosker, 1999 and genus Yirrkala Whitley, 1940, and 5 new record species: Ophichthus machidai McCosker, Ide and Endo, 2012, O. obtusus McCosker, Ide and Endo, 2012, O. megalops Asano, 1987, Skythrenchelys zabra Castle and McCosker, 1999 and Yirrkala misolensis (G#westeur061#nther, 1872). In addition, parts of genera and species of Ophichthidae from Taiwan had been confirmed. Apterichtus moseri (Jordan and Snyder, 1901), was herein re-defined as a misidentification due to the only specimen used by the last literature was totally different from the original description; the only species of genus Caecula Vahl, 1794 recorded in Taiwan in the past, C. kuro (Kuroda, 1947), which had become a junior synonym of Callechelys kuro (Kuroda, 1947). For the reasons above, we thought that there was no record in Taiwan of either the genus Apterichtus Dum#westeur042#ril, 1806 nor the genus Caecula Vahl, 1794. Besides, the only specimen of Neenchelys daedalus McCosker, 1982 now, had been the holotype of N. similis Ho, McCosker and David, 2013, which we herein remove from Taiwan’s record as well. Revision of several species was noted that the past Sphagebranchus kuro (Kuroda, 1947) had changed the placement of genus to Callechelys; the past O. evermanni (Jordan and Richardson, 1909) is thought to be a junior synonym of O. lithinus (Jordan and Richardson, 1908); the past O. tsuchidae Jordan and Snyder, 1901 had been thought to be a junior synonym of O. urolophus (Temminck and Schlegel, 1846) today.
A phenetic taxonomic analysis of family Ophichthuidae from Taiwan based on morphometrics, mean vertebral formula, cephalic pore counts, and dentition between species is provided. Photographs, illustrations of dentition, cephalic pores of some additional species of fresh specimens are also given. We hope this study can give a preliminary review of the species and clarify some problems on the identification.